Update on Puerto Rico

Mr. Trump’s Paper Towels Aren’t Helping Puerto Rico

Two months after Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, a sense of desperation seems to be yielding to resignation at best. More than half of the island is still without power, and hundreds of thousands of residents are fleeing to the American mainland in an extraordinary exodus.

It has been weeks since President Trump visited to jovially toss rolls of paper towels to needy fellow Americans and brag about how successful the recovery effort was. But true evidence of progress has been hard to come by. Even the simplest symbols of government, like traffic lights, remain useless. Most of the Pentagon’s emergency troops have begun pulling out, except for those working on the island’s shattered power grid.

3 thoughts on “Update on Puerto Rico

  1. I am tired of FEMA and the US Government getting blamed for everything yet being expected to work miracles. I wonder how many of the critics have ever worked 16-hour days wading in mud and filthy water working a catastrophic disaster. If you haven’t been there, you don’t have the right.

    Has anyone looked at the terrain and the magnitude of just restoring power to the island? We are talking over 3,500 square miles of mostly mountainous topography. Plus the fact that all supplies, equipment and manpower don’t just roll in there on a 4-lane Interstate. The thing that really gets me as I watch the work on the power grid is the next hurricane.

    What do people expect? A twitching of the nose and everything is back the way it was? Frankly, if you acknowledge the facts, putting things back the way they were is nothing to brag about. Things were not good in Puerto Rico before Maria.

    If you don’t like that one, here’s another one with quotes from a Puerto Rican native who says “he has dispatched 50 engineers to help FEMA rehabilitate the devastated island after Hurricane Maria. He refuses to work with the local government, which he called inept and riddled with corruption.”

    From the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-puerto-rico-power-20170925-story.html

    • FEMA’s enabling legislation says it is supposed to provide supplemental assistance to state and local governments. Yet every so often, like with H. Katrina in LA, it is obvious that state and local capacity are lacking. But no one wants to see citizens suffer. It is a dilemma.

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